• YEAR: MBA student
  • MAJOR: Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • HOMETOWN: Indianapolis, Indiana

Andrew Glassman

According to ABI Research, the average cellphone owner in the U.S. spends about $60 on accessories over the life of their phone. That may not seem like much, but it adds up to nearly $63 billion each year.

And despite all the gee-whiz technology found in today's "smart" phones, they often fall prey to such annoying, low-tech problems as that encountered by Andrew Glassman and countless others: unwieldy, easy-to-lose but not easy-to-use headphone cords that become knotted and tangled in pockets, purses and backpacks. So, Andrew invented a fix.

A doggone good idea

Although Andrew had been pondering problematic cords on his own for some time, a team project for a new product development course in Krannert's MBA program gave him the opportunity to put his ideas into action.

Dubbed the DogBone Wrap because of its shape, Andrew's invention uses the charging port on the new iPhone as a fixture for securing the device, which is shaped like a dog bone and allows users to securely wrap their headphone cables. "It's portable, simple and easy to detach when not in use," he says.

Getting technical

Andrew's interest in design blossomed early, particularly when he began building sets as part of his school's technical theater program in sixth grade, an activity he continued into high school. "We had to learn how to design and build things very quickly."

An undergraduate internship with a startup medical device company also fueled Andrew's technically creative passions. "It was a great experience," he says. "I learned how to develop a product from an idea to a prototype, including machining it myself and doing the required testing."

Double boiler

If Andrew seems like an engineer, it's because he is, having earned his bachelor's degree from Purdue's School of Mechanical Engineering in 2010. He then took a year off and lived in California, where his fiancee's stepfather mentored him in entrepreneurship and encouraged him to pursue an MBA.

"I'm a very technical person. I thought I was a mechanical engineer who just wanted to design and make cool products," Andrew says. "I was also a little naive. I learned quickly that there was much more to it, and that if I wanted to successfully run my own company someday, I needed the full-circle view that only a business education can provide."

Ready to climb

Outside of class, Andrew was a competitive rower for six years, including two years as a member of Purdue Men's Crew, until a serious knee injury left him on the banks. He's since become an avid rock climber and can often be found scaling the walls of the Cordova Recreational Sports Center. "It's become a real passion of mine," he says.

Andrew will begin working full-time in June for Bank of America's Operations MBA (OMBA) program but will continue to pursue his entrepreneurial passions as well. "I'll always be tinkering with things, trying to make them better."